How to Reduce PDF File Size Using PDFpen

Wondering how to reduce a PDF file size? With PDFpen’s optimization and compression features, it’s easy. In this post, we’ll show you how.

Reduce PDF File Size Automatically

The latest version of PDFpen comes with built-in PDF compression mechanisms. They work behind the scenes to automatically reduce the size of your PDF files.

Whenever you scan an image or save a document, PDFpen triggers the intelligent, underlying mechanism that’s best suited to compress your file. It can be one of the following:

We won’t dive into how these strange-sounding processes work; what we’ll say is we’re happy with the results we’ve seen so far. For example, MRC compression reduces PDF files containing text and images to 2% of their original size.

Reduce PDF File Size Manually in PDFpenPro v.12 and Later

In addition to PDFpen’s automatic compression processes – which, as we’ve seen, kick in surreptitiously as you scan, edit and save –  PDFpen 12 also comes with a feature for manually optimizing PDFs.

As Michael E. Cohen notes in this TidBits article about PDFpen 12’s new features, this feature is useful for compressing older PDFs that take up space in your hard drive, such as digital receipts. “If you store PDFs of your digital receipts, you can clear that PDF of extra cruft before you stash it away,” says Michael.

To do that, follow these steps:

1. Open the PDF file.

2. Choose File > Create Optimized PDF. The Optimize Images dialog box below will appear.

Optimize images dialog box allows you to reduce PDF file size.

3. Specify how to compress color, grayscale and monochrome images.

You can also choose to remove third-party metadata and to “optimize images only if it saves space.”

Note: Opting to remove third-party metadata will delete metadata stored in the PDF, including embedded XML, editing information used by PDF programs and thumbnail images. Removing third-party metadata is good for privacy and for reducing PDF file sizes.

“Opting to optimize images only if it saves space” means PDFpenPro will skip any images that might increase the file size during the compression process.

4. When you click Create, PDFpenPro will create a new, optimized version of a PDF document.

Reduce PDF File Size to Make Documents Easier to Work With

Large PDF files can be challenging to work with for several reasons:

  • You can’t email large PDF files as attachments

    Both corporate and public email servers limit the size of files you can attach to messages. In Outlook, the combined file size limit is 10 MB; in Gmail, it’s 25 MB.
  • You can’t upload large PDF files to certain systems

    Industry-specific platforms and systems have their file size limits, too. For example, the US Supreme Court of Justice’s Electronic Filing System does not accept case files larger than 100 MB.
  • Large PDF files aren’t user-friendly 

    “When you get to extremely large sizes, you limit the usefulness of the document. You might be the only one with enough memory and hard disk space to open the thing,” says one PDF user here.

It’s always best to keep PDF files small. If necessary, you can create several PDFs and link them to one another – see linking and attaching information here, or create a PDF portfolio.

The PDF File Compressor You Need

Many PDFpen users are lawyers, doctors, professors – all professions that sometimes involve handling large PDF files.  

Over the years, you have continuously come to us for help reducing PDF file sizes. In the past, we’ve recommended resampling images and using a Quartz filter. Both of these methods work, but the results aren’t always as effective if you work with large complex documents filled with a variety of fonts and high resolution graphics.

With the release of PDFpen 12, we’re excited to provide faster operations and more and better ways to keep PDF file sizes low without compromising image quality. This includes integrated PDF compression and a new “Create Optimized PDF” feature.

Learn more about version 12 of PDFpen and PDFpenPro, including how to upgrade from a previous version.

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